Date of Award:

1977

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Wildland Resources

Advisor/Chair:

Michael L. Wolfe

Abstract

A study was conducted on the North Slope of the Uinta Mountains from January, 1972 through June, 1974, to determine the effects of three simulated levels of moose utilization on the crude protein content, phosphorus content, digestibility and vigor of willow plants. A comparison was also made on the crude protein content, phosphorus content and digestibility of current year's versus past years' willow growth. Finally, the validity of direct and indirect population enumeration methods was compared for the possible development of a standardized moose survey technique.

Clipping caused a highly significant increase in crude protein and phosphorus content between treatment levels. There was also a highly significant increase in digestibility between years. Plant vigor comparisons were confounded by additional sources of mortality and the effects of environmental variables.

A comparison of the nutrient content and digestibility of 1 t o 5 year-old willow growth showed that crude protein content, phosphor us content and digestibility decreased with increasing twig age. Additional factors are discussed which indicate that the carrying capacity of the winter range is larger than previously described.

A poor correlation was found be tween direct aerial moose observations and indirect population estimates from pellet-group counts.

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